Poetry in music: intoxicating lyrics

"'Cause tomorrow's keep on blowing in From somewhere." Bic Runga, Listening for the Weather, 2002. Storm surf at Takapuna Beach, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

” ‘Cause tomorrow’s keep on blowing in from somewhere.” Bic Runga, Listening for the Weather, 2002. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

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This week at Where’s my Backpack, Ailsa’s Travel Theme word is poetry.

As someone with very little musical ability, but an enormous love of language, it is usually the poetry of the lyrics that draws me into a song.

I could probably have chosen any of Bic Runga‘s songs for this post. Her single Sway was voted the 6th best New Zealand song by members of the Australasian Performing Rights Association, and I will enthusiastically warble my way through every song on her second album Beautiful Collision if there’s no-one around to hear me.  But I’ve chosen Listening for the Weather, because I just love the opening lines:

Listening For The Weather

So, I’m listening for the weather,
To predict the coming day.
Leave all thought of expectation
To the weatherman.
No it doesn’t really matter
What it is he has to say,
‘Cause tomorrow’s keep on blowing in
From somewhere.

All the people that I know
In the apartments down below,
Busy with their starring roles
In their own tragedies.

[Chorus]
Sunlight sends you on your way,
And those restless thoughts that
Cling to yesterday.
Never be afraid of change.
I’ll call you on the phone.
I hate to leave you on your own,
But I’m coming home today.

And this busy inner city
Has got nothing much to say,
And I know how much you’re
Hanging ’round the letterbox.
And I’m sure that as I’m writing,
You’ll be somewhere on your way,
In a supermarket checkout
Or a restaurant.

I’ve been doing what I’m told.
I’ve been busy growing old,
And the days are getting cold,
but that’s alright with me.

[Chorus]

Yes I’m coming home today.

I’ve been doing what I’m told.
I’ve been busy growing old,
And the days are getting cold,
But that’s alright with me.

[Chorus]

 

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Will it be as good as it looks in the book?

Recipe books, garlic, tomatoes and basil. Preparing to make Spanish Braised Chickpeas. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Recipe, tick; ingredients, tick. Looking forward to dinner. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

With the Big T working in Melbourne pretty much every week, and the boy-child electing to spend his evenings with friends, I’m doing a lot of “meals for one” at the moment. The bonus is that I get to cook stuff that doesn’t have to please anyone else’s palate. The downside is that I’m running out of ideas.

But an afternoon spent poring over some recipe books has provided plenty of inspiration.

Now I just have to remember to scale the recipes down, so I don’t drown in leftovers.

This post is written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge, which has as its theme dinnertime — and for Ailsa’s Travel Theme at Where’s My Backpack. The theme there this week, is books.

 

Driven to abstraction

Monochrome, macro shot of pohutukawa leaf, edited with Snapseed, Pixlr and Stackables. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Pohutukawa leaf. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed, Pixlr and Stackables.

In nature, it is normal for all parts of an organism –and indeed an entire eco-system — to work harmoniously to ensure survival.

The veins in a leaf transport water and nutrients (1); the health of the plant depends on that flow. All parts of the leaf need water and minerals so they can transport sap back to the rest of the plant. Neglect, decay or disease in any part of the system affects the well-being of the whole.

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Pohutukawa leaves. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed, Pixlr and Stackables.

It’s a simple idea that we accept in nature, yet ignore when it comes to human lives and systems. We over-fish and pollute our oceans, dig up and burn fossil fuels, destroy rain forests and the thousands of species that live in them, build roads and cities over land that once produced food, contaminate our food and water supplies … the list seems endless.

We have forgotten the most elemental truth:

The Earth does not belong to us: we belong to the Earth. — Marlee Matlin

In these pohutukawa leaves we can see the connections and the journeys between every part of the structure. I can edit the images in many ways, but the relationship stays the same.  Survival of the whole depends on the health of all the parts.

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Pohutukawa leaves. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed, Pixlr and Stackables.

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally, and Ailsa’s Travel Theme at Where’s my Backpack. The theme in both cases is abstract.

(1) Leaf, Wikipedia.

 

 

 

 

Travel Theme: Entertainment

 

Boy filming speedway on tablet, Western Springs Park, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Boy watching speedway, Western Springs Park, Auckland, NZ. Image, Su Leslie 2015

Summer and outdoor entertainment go hand in hand. Open air cinema, concerts, festivals and sports events all vie for our time and dollars.

Midget cars taking bend at Western Springs Park speedway, Jan 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Midget cars racing, Western Springs, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Unlike a lot of events that have started in recent years, Speedway at Westerns Springs has a long history — beginning in 1935.

Sitting on the hard concrete terraces watching cars race round a dirt track (while eating a carton of hot chips) may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but it was part of both mine and the Big T’s youth, so we try to go each season — for old time’s sake.

Back then, before digital photography and cameras on every phone, live entertainment was truly live. These days, like the boy above and many other people, I’m guilty of experiencing quite a lot of life through my camera’s lens; a point made much more eloquently in Otto von Münchow‘s blog post To Live or to Photograph

Eddy Eighty, street performer fire-juggling, Auckland, January 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Eddy Eighty, street performer, at Auckland Anniversary Day festivities, 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

At last year’s Auckland Anniversary Day celebrations I watched Spanish street theatre artist Eddy Eighty perform — largely through the lens of my camera. While I’m happy with the shots I took, I have no real sense of his performance (which attracted a huge, appreciative crowd).

Eddy Eighty and friends. Street theatre at Auckland Anniversary Day festivities, 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Eddy Eighty and friends. Street theatre at Auckland Anniversary Day festivities, 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Eddy Eighty and friends, steet performance at Auckland Anniversary Day festivities, 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Eddy Eighty and friends, steet performance at Auckland Anniversary Day festivities, 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

How did he persuade these Auckland men to join him in his high-energy, crazy routine?

This post was written for the Weekly Travel Theme hosted by Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack.

In my mind’s eye

Vanity: my favourite selfie. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

One-eyed selfie. Image: Su Leslie, 2014

Like many people, I don’t enjoy having my photo taken. Somehow, however much others may say they like this or that image, I seldom do. The woman I see may be wearing my clothes, jewellery and hairstyle, but that’s where the resemblance ends. She doesn’t match the mind’s-eye portrait of myself that I carry around.

Selfies are a way of partially managing this discontinuity between pixels and neurons; of controlling the flow of data from physical to electronic world.

Even then, it took about 80 shots to find one I was happy with.

As chance would have it, there is some overlap in the themes for both the Daily Post Photo Challenge (Eye Spy) and Ailsa’s Travel Theme at Where’s my Backpack (Self), and this image I think works quite well for both.

“From little things, big things grow”

From little things, big things grow. The figs are beginning to appear on my tree. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

The figs are beginning to appear on my tree. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Fruit is a common metaphor in the language of change and progress. We talk of plans “coming to fruition”, and of ideas and movements “bearing fruit.” The underlying imagery is of good things growing from small beginnings. I find this comforting right now. Thinking about the issues facing our world — climate change, war, inequality, rampant corporate greed (to name a few)– makes me incredibly depressed. Yet at a personal level, in my daily life I experience compassionate, generous people doing their best to live a good life and tread lightly on our Earth. Sometimes, these good people come together, to work for larger goals. Sometimes, that’s enough to bear good fruit.

This post was written for Ailsa’s Travel Theme at Where’s my Backpack. The title is from the Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody song of the same name.

From Little Things Big Things Grow tells the story of how the Gurindji people of the Northern Territory of Australia sparked that country’s indigenous land rights movement. What began as a labour strike in 1966, became a much wider issue, and eventually resulted in an Act of Parliament granting title and some control over traditional lands to the local Aboriginal people.

Travel theme: feet

" an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, esp. for comparison or contrast.

How far he has travelled. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

This photo was taken eighteen months ago, just before my son turned 16. I had been rummaging in the “box of memories” and found his first proper shoes. The boy-child could hardly believe he had ever fitted into something so small.

Since then, his feet have grown more and he has traveled even farther — physically and emotionally. He has graduated high school, vacationed with us in Europe, taken his first solo holiday and found a job he loves. He’s also looking at university courses for next year and is starting to think about buying a car.

So I guess this photo is a metaphor for my son’s journey to adulthood; a journey that he is increasingly taking in huge strides, and in a direction of his own choosing. I miss the little boy who wore those tiny buckled shoes, but I am incredibly proud of the man he is becoming.

This post was written for Ailsa’s Travel Theme at Where’s My Backpack.

 

 

If I just lay here ….

Sunset, Puniawia, Tahiti. Photo: Su Leslie, 2010

Cocktails at sunset, Puna’auia,Tahiti. Photo: Su Leslie, 2010

Mellow is a not a word that I’d use to describe myself. Even on the most peaceful tropical holiday, I’m the photographer — always on the move — rather than the one relaxing by the lagoon. Perhaps I should take lessons from my cat.

As mellow as it gets. My fur baby on her favourite rug. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

As mellow as it gets. My fur baby on her favourite rug. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Or listen to more music. The title of this post comes from the song Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol.

This week’s Travel Theme at Where’s My Backpack is mellow. You can see Ailsa’s photos here.

Travel theme: grey

Memorial to the Women of World War II. Sculpted by John W. Mills. Whitehall, London. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Memorial to the Women of World War II. Sculpted by John W. Mills. Whitehall, London. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

As a colour, grey gets pretty bad press; associated with bad weather and gloomy days. But it is also the colour of many sculptures — like the bronze above which commemorates the enormous contribution made by women during war — and Rebecca Rose’s “Inflight Entertainment” below, which is made of stainless steel.

Rebecca Rose, "Inflight Entertainment", 2014. Exhibited at NZ Sculpture OnShore, 2014. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Rebecca Rose, “Inflight Entertainment”, 2014. Exhibited at NZ Sculpture OnShore, 2014. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

The works below, by Trish Clarke and Merle Bishop are also in steel and bronze respectively, although the grey that predominates in the image is that of a stormy evening sky.

Trish Clarke's "Round Up aka Triffid Garden", and Merle Bishop's "Spot the Blind Dog", exhibited at NZ Sculpture OnShore, 2014. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014.

Trish Clarke’s “Round Up aka Triffid Garden”, and Merle Bishop’s “Spot the Blind Dog”, exhibited at NZ Sculpture OnShore, 2014. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014.

London skyline on a stormy day. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

London skyline on a stormy day. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

In the two shots above, leaden skies hang over already grey structures. In countries were rain is abundant (like the UK and New Zealand) grey clouds are often spoken of negatively — something I’ve noticed increasingly in our TV weather forecasts. For me, they speak of drama and change — things I view positively.

Grey is this week’s Travel Theme at Where’s My Backpack. You can see Ailsa’s wonderful shots here. And here are some other bloggers’ take on the theme that I liked:

Grey

https://drieskewrites.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/travel-theme-gray/

Travel Theme: Rouen’s Cathedral is a Study in Grey

Grey Days

https://sonyavdg.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/travel-theme-grey/

Travel Theme: Grey

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/travel-theme-grey-travels-around-new-zealand/

https://beautyalongtheroad.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/shades-of-gray/

 

 

Travel theme: tiny

Seldom seen in my garden, a tiny ladybird on a lemon tree. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Seldom seen in my garden, a tiny ladybird on a lemon tree. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week is “tiny.” Here are a few shot of little things that have caught my eye.

A small car anyway, these toy BMW Isetta's are truly tiny. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

A small car anyway, these toy BMW Isetta’s are truly tiny. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

A tiny, inverted world reflected in a randrop. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

A tiny, inverted world reflected in a randrop. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Seen on a Munich street, a tiny garden on the back of a small truck. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Seen on a Munich street, a tiny garden on the back of a small truck. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Small insect, small flowers. A tiny part of the food chain. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Small insect, small flowers. A tiny part of the food chain. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Cicada shell and shadow. Photo, Su Leslie

Cicada moult; tiny anyway, and even smaller against its shadow. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015